The mandarins and denizens of Thimphu would have found that there were no ministers in Thimphu on Thursday and Friday.
This was because the entire cabinet led by the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay had shifted base to the border town of Phuntsholing for two days.
The main reason for the shift it seems was to focus on the economy, economic projects and the border town.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, “There were a lot of issues to be looked at in Phuntsholing which are the Amochu reclamation project, Phuntsholing town, Pasakha and meeting with the business community. “
Lyonchhen said that on the way to Phuntsholing he also paid a surprise visit to the Chukha-Damchu bypass road.
The PM said that the cabinet also spent a day discussing the state of the economy based on a presentation by the Ministry of Finance.
The cabinet took part in a mid-year assessment of annual performance agreements of five southern dzongkhags which are Chukha, Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang and Samtse at RIGSS.
Lyonchhen also took a bicycle ride around Phuntsholing town on Thursday morning inspecting the town up close.
The PM and cabinet members met with LG officials, representatives of the business community, Dungkhag and Thromde officials on Thursday to discuss the various issues affecting Phuntsholing and the surrounding areas.
The trip also consisted of a visit to the Pasakha Industrial area in the evening and also a visit to the Amochu land reclamation project site. With the Amochu hydropower project not being taken up due to security concerns the land reclamation project to build a much bigger Phuntsholing is now well on track.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to visit the much delayed Amochu bridge construction site.
He also launched the country’s first ever data center in Phuntsholing.
Speaking at the event, Lyonchhen said that with the advent of internet in Bhutan, its benefits have had a resounding impact on public service delivery. Lyonchhen however added that Internet should be used wisely and appropriately, and should be used to improve local content.
“We use internet largely but local content is very less. Therefore, it is important we develop it,” Lyonchhen said.
He urged the participants to promote local service providers instead of outsourcing elsewhere.
Lyonchhen encouraged the service providers to focus on the reliability so that people would be able to connect with it and find them trustworthy. Lyonchhen said making sure that the 99.982% reliability, as per the tier III design certification, is used to its fullest was very essential. He categorically mentioned that we must also strive to ensure similar quality and standard in other areas such as mobile communications and banking services.
The PM pointed out there were plenty of opportunities for Bhutan in building and marketing data centres because Bhutan provided all the conditions required for data centres to function such as a pollution-free environment, political stability and cheap commercial electricity.
“Unlike other data centres, data maintained and stored in our data centres would be clean and green. Bhutan could be a pioneer in green data centres,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen added that Bhutan should be branded as an ‘IT enabled society and economy’.